#1334: Secureslice

Today’s invention is a new way to slice a loaf of bread.

Every other cut would be replaced by one which fell short of cutting through the bottom and one side of the loaf.

This would result in the creation of many double-thickness slices, each of which acts as a two-sided pocket.

This allows for easier sandwich making (and eating, since the contents could not drop out of the bottom). Each slice would also still be thin enough to just fit within a standard toaster.

#1332: Slurpstop

Breast-fed children get to decide themselves when they have had enough but bottle-using parents tend to keep feeding their child until the bottle is empty. This is thought to contribute to obesity and maybe even to developing diabetes.

Today’s invention is therefore a bottle which disguises the amount of formula milk left during a feed (until actually empty). It does this by being opaque and slightly heavier than usual but also by incorporating a sealed compartment part-filled with water.

This makes it difficult for a parent to judge how much milk remains (without removing the top) so that the baby can have more say in when to stop drinking.

#1284: SackSack

Wine-in-a-box is actually wine-in-a-metallised-plastic-bag-in-a-box.

This is great for keeping the wine fresh, but not so good in terms of elegantly serving a ‘luxury’ product.

Today’s invention is therefore a bottle which contains a plastic bag full of wine. The bottle comes with a bag inserted and with the usual plastic tap incorporated into the bottle neck.

This allows the contents to be dispensed from a bottle which can be resealed conveniently, without allowing air to contact the wine in between openings.

#1262: SignalSip

Energy drinks apparently start to help one’s muscles work as soon as they make contact with the tongue.

That weird finding, via which the receptors of the tongue somehow inform one’s flagging muscles that ‘help is coming’, is the basis of today’s invention.

For those who find their lives threatened by exhaustion (such as soldiers, explorers or firefighters) it takes the form of a steel water bottle with a lockable lid (and an inaccessible, recessed valve).

The lid contains a timer device which opens a spout for say one second every half-hour (as determined for the operation concerned). This allows someone to take very short slurps of the sugar water inside, enabling them to keep going whilst preventing them from simply draining the contents.

It might even be possible for a version of the bottle to open the spout in response to radio signals from base, in order to maximise the chance that the bottle carrier can get him/herself back home in one piece.

#1246: Fruitstand

I’ve ranted occasionally about the stickers that seem to get attached to many forms of fruit. Today’s invention turns this problem into an advantage.

A new form of fruit-identifying label would be a thicker-than-normal ring. This would be sticky on one side, as usual, but the added depth and hole in the middle would allow the part-eaten fruit to be set down on a flat surface. This would avoid the problem of having an apple or pear roll over and collect eg dust, crumbs etc.

The sticker would still carry the inevitable advertising, of course.

If you wanted to encourage the consumption of eg five items of fruit a day, these rings could each have a part-message printed on them so that assembling five of these into a cylinder would spell out some additional message or web address on the side.

#1232: Minedmilk

Today’s invention is the latest weapon in the communal-fridge wars.

To stop people stealing one’s (personal) milk, insert a plastic device which consists of a number of yellowish globules linked by a few strands of fishing line. The globules float near the surface and the lines are almost invisible.

This gives the impression, when viewed through the bottle wall or neck, of milk substantially past its use-by and thus deters all but the most desperate kleptolactics.

This device is sterilisable between uses and easily placed in a bottle but won’t pour into one’s cup every time the milk is used.

#1227: FastFace

Fast food is everywhere and so is its discarded packaging.

Those expanded polystyrene boxes are dirt cheap and thermally insulating and many people seem to have few reservations about just dropping them anywhere but in a bin.

Today’s invention is to supply fast food in these boxes but to have them formed into 3D masks. The faces could be of celebrities but even more interesting is the possibility of having a box vending machine in each fast food store capable of scanning a customer face and heat moulding a box in real-time (Perhaps this could be achieved by pressing one’s face into a plastic pillow to form a reusable mould against which a sheet of polystyrene could be vacuum formed).

This would give people pause for thought about pitching their own face on the ground: not least because it could identify them later.

#1221: UnSticker

There is an entire industry devoted to helping people get the tops off jars.

Today’s invention is another such kitchen device. It consists of a thin square of recyclable plastic material with a strong sticky pad on one side.

This is perforated along a wiggly line so the user can break it into two pieces. One is pressed and stuck to the jar cap as shown, the other is attached to the jar bottom. The fingers protruding on one side of the jar allow for a massively improved grip -even for those with dexterity or finger strength difficulties.

The pads stay in place and don’t affect the glass recycling process much more than the labels on the jar.